Bible Way celebrates 37 years, remembers founding pastor
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Sunday afternoon was the culmination of days of remembrance at Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church in Copperas Cove
What was originally scheduled as a time to celebrate the church’s 37 years in Copperas Cove on Sunday also included a “homegoing” service on Friday morning for Bible Way’s founding pastor, the Rev. S.D. McMullen, who passed away on October 7. Members of the church also gathered on Thursday evening for a time of visitation with the family as they all remembered and shared stories about Rev. McMullen.
After McMullen’s memorial on Friday morning, he was buried with full military honors at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. For Friday’s service, the ladies of the church were asked to wear white with a blue corsage in honor of McMullen.
At the moment, Rev. Will Jackson is serving as leader at the church where he has been a member since 1984, for most of the church’s 37 years.
Jackson spoke about some of the legacy that McMullen has left behind, not just for the church, but the Copperas Cove community.
“Like I told them on Sunday, we’re going to love the lord, love the church, and love the people. With time and moving forward, we’re going to make sure all of three those are true, and then everything else will take care of everything else.”
Included in McMullen’s legacy is the unity walk for the entire community held annually on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday for the past 19 years, an event which McMullen both founded and organized.
In conjunction with the Unity Walk, the church also awards four $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors from Copperas Cove to Temple.
Also within the church, Jackson said they will keep on with their areas of ministries beyond the walls to include its jail ministry at Bell County Youth Services in Killeen, prison ministry at the Woodman Unit in Gatesville. The church is also supporting three missions in Belize, South America.
Closer to home, the church continues its active ministry to the youth, with McMullen saying they want the church to be purposely inter-generational, something that McMullen strived for.
A native of Mississippi, Pastor McMullen became an ordained deacon while serving in the military in Germany and accepted the call to preach after moving to Copperas Cove. According to his obituary, McMullen preached his first sermon on Sept. 3, 1978 at Unity Missionary Baptist Church of Copperas Cove. He served as the pastor and founder of Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church since it first opened its doors on Jan. 21, 1980.
McMullen was a past president of the Bell County Ministerial Alliance of Killeen/Copperas Cove; board member of the Evangelical, Home Mission and the Foreign Mission Boards of the Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas; past chairman of the Evangelical Board of the Good Hope Western District Association of Waco. He also served as a negotiation/social worker for the Texas Department of Corrections, and formerly taught at Ellison High School, the American Preparatory Institute, as well as the external education division of the Fort Worth Theological Seminary.
He leaves behind his wife, Anne L. Polk McMullen, and a son, Shawn DeMeras McMullen, three grandchildren, three sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews.
McMullen had earned associate, two bachelor’s degrees, a Master of Divinity degree from Fort Worth Theological Seminary, and was a candidate for a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Theology/Divinity, also at the Fort Worth Theological Seminary.
Among the awards McMullen received was the key to the City of Copperas Cove, along with proclamations from President Obama and Governor Rick Perry in March 2015.